Abit has just released
its latest gaming motherboard based on the mid-range NVIDIA 650i chipset. This board does use the older NF430 southbridge, only coming with four SATA ports but has two IDE ports for those that still have IDE hard drives knocking about.
It's still designed around the traditional red PCB with black components, but this time Abit has gone for the quiet approach and avoided including any fans on its motherboard at all. Previous Fatal1ty boards have had weeny 40mm fans to try to aid cooling and help overclocks but just generally became an annoyance rather than offering any potential benefit. Instead Abit has included a larger heatsink on the northbridge to try an offset this.
Interestingly the board is void of heatpipes, so local hotspots might occur, and it also includes an old school mini-PCB lane switcher. Whilst this doesn't really shout cutting edge, it should also means it should be cheaper.
There's also an extra PCI slot, which makes a positive change from the previous Abit Fatal1ty board we looked at and criticised it for. Since gaming motherboards have become items of luxury, featuring almost exclusively in the high end/high price range, Abit seems to be trying something new in making a potentially affordable gaming branded board.
Considering Asus P5N-E SLI is exceptionally inexpensive, yet still clocks Core 2's to high heaven, it'll be interesting if Abit can compete on both price and performance fronts to make this an attractive purchase.
Discuss in the forums